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David’s LS-Powered Datsun 280Z!

A year ago, I was at SEMA and decided to attend OPTIMA’s Ultimate Street Car ...

A year ago, I was at SEMA and decided to attend OPTIMA’s Ultimate Street Car Invitational. Right as I walked up to the event, the first car I noticed was David Carroll’s 1975 Datsun 280Z. It wasn’t because I’m a huge Datsun fan. It wasn’t because the giant fender flares or the nasty cam lope from the LS. It was the stickers. I’m joking, but seriously this car turns heads like no other. It really brings attention when he gets his turn on the autocross. The car looks violent sitting still and his driving style just increases that factor. You’ll see in the video below that David isn’t playing around.

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He bought the car with the intention of taking the Datsun’s handling prowess and adding some american muscle under the hood. He got that accomplished by wedging an LS3/T56 combo inside of the Datsun’s engine bay. The LS3 was sourced from Tilden Motorsports with their Road Assault package. This roaring V8 puts down 540 horsepower to the rear wheels. I’ve watched this power being put to work as Datsun reeled in Corvettes and GT-R’s on the straights in his little Datsun.

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It isn’t an all-out custom build with trick suspension crazily enough. His suspension is mostly factory with his coilovers consisting of Bilstein shocks and RideTech springs. For stopping power, he has big Wilwood Disc Brakes hiding behind the custom Jongbloed wheels. He doesn’t need fancy suspension when his car weighs in at 2,800 pounds with a perfect 50/50 front and rear ratio. If the car wasn’t already setup to be a monster handling machine, he wrapped the Jongbloed racing wheels in 315-series Falken RT615K’s all around. That’s nearly 12 and a half inches of rubber at all four corners.

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Somehow he manages not only to race it, but to drive it every day. I’ve only dreamed of driving a car with square 315’s daily. David lives this dream. Car’s like this Datsun have a certain special feel to them. They’re the modernized version of the old street-strip cars of the 70’s. They’re meant to drive on the street, but they can go to the track and show up purpose-built track machines. He admits that this car isn’t perfect. It isn’t a show car. It has dings and scratches all over, that’s why he covers it with stickers! He isn’t worried about being the fastest or having the nicest car. He’s just there to have fun. He shows this every race when he brings his family to the enjoy the race with him. His 4 year-old son absolutely loves it. Check out this video of Dave hooning around in his bad ass 280Z!





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